Looney Pyramids are colored pyramids that are used in many published and user-created games. They were originally part of the single game Icehouse created by John Cooper, and until 2011 they were generally called Icehouse pieces or Icehouse pyramids. The original game, Icehouse, is based on a fictional game Andrew Looney described in a story he wrote.
The general utility of the pieces: They stack and can be laid on their side and pointed in a direction, and their general cool look, gave rise to people creating many other games that use them. Some need nothing but the pieces, others use the pieces along with other generic easy-to-come-by gaming equipment like dice, markers, or checker/chess boards.
Looney pyramid products have evolved over the years:
1989-2005: In the early years, pyramids were made of a variety of materials as boxed sets of 60 pyramids, primarily to play Icehouse, Zendo, or IceTowers. The injected plastic hollow pyramid with rank pips became the standard in 1999. Fan-made games for the system were at their most prolific, with a tendency towards hard abstracts.
2006-2015: During the Treehouse era, less became more. Treehouse and IceDice became the dominant product, with 30 pyramids or less. Designed for the casual gamer as an impulse buy, the game system aspect was downplayed, and more games included dice. During this era, the name was changed from Icehouse pyramids to Looney pyramids, and production was moved from Maryland to China.
2016: Pyramid Arcade supersedes all other pyramid products, offering a "greatest hits" anthology of rules and components.
2020: The Pyramid Quartet of Ice Duo, Homeworlds, Martian Chess, and Nomids are released as smaller standalone game sets that also serve to complement and expand Pyramid Arcade.
Stashes cut from semi-precious stones are independently available.
Looney Labs encourages fan-made pyramids (called "piece-nicking") for personal non-profit use.
The book Playing With Pyramids was published containing 12 of the more popular games; the book 3House reprints two of those games and introduces another. Pyramid Primer #1 was published in 2012.
Official fan community is at the Facebook Group "Starship Captains".